The Big Picture

Just below the hand, to the right in the painting you can see a yellow little spot – that’s me you see, wearing a yellow linen. So I’m standing in ”The Big Picture” and looking up at the helicopter from which this photo was shot.

the big picture - a 500 sqm painting at Västerås Airport in Sweden, created by the Swedish artist Garip Jensen

The Big Picture – a 500 sqm painting at Västerås Airport

The name of the painting ”The Big Picture” was quite obvious considering the almost 500 sqm painting I created, near Västerås Airport. When the flights landed, travelers could see the artwork in full. Down on the ground the impression was quite abstract. That being said, it was a challenge to adopt the project.

Summer 2006

Before I began to work on the painting, I created the sketch whose basic idea came from the initiators of the project (they do not exist today), where one of my friends Tony Berglund included. We printed my sketch reference on a 50×70 cm paper, which I had with me all the way to the finish. To my assistance, I also had a sky-lift that took me up about 13 meters, so that I could go up every day to get a better overview of the painting.

12 hour days in the hot sun

The Big Picture started in the summer of 2006 which I remember was very hot. Twelve hours a day I worked, or as long as the sun lit up the painting, and I was constantly sweating. I was leaning forward with my upper body parallel to the ground/painting all day, basically. In other words, quite a lot of strain on the back and toes. The first few days I wondered why I had gotten so bad in my toes (it might as well have been from the karate sparring), but then I understood why.

I couldn’t finish The Big Picture 2006, so when the fall and a lot of rain came, I had to cancel.


The Big Picture – completed in May 2007

As soon as I could take up the fight for the painting again, ie when the weather allowed, I was up and running. Working on such a large scale with incredible amounts of color, I literally went skating in the color that I painted bit by bit with roles. The paint I used was an oil-based paint. I used yellow, red, blue, white and black when I was going to mix the colors and dilute with thinner. It was a matchless color with color, a bit of hysterical fun and a bit more than just a little to keep up with. To sum up a fun challenge I am glad I assumed. Today I know I could have made it twice as big, twice as good;)

The amount of paint and thinner

  • Total amount of paint and thinner: 708 liters (187 gallon, US), of which the color consisted of 352.4 liters (930.9 gallon, US)
  • The base painting consisted of a white concrete paint, to isolate upcoming layers of paint from the concrete slab on which the painting was created. 96 liters (25.36 gallon, US) were used for this.
  • Tools used were different sizes of rollers, brushes and spray guns (for a large compressor)


Movie-clip of me painting ”The Big Picture”


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